Sunderland Echo

Regional dates for Jason Manford’s Like Me show

Visits to Rightmove up by 30 per cent compared with 12 months earlier, writes Vicky Shaw of PA

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Jason Manford is heading to a theatre near you with his Like Me which starts in October this year and extends into 2022. It’s been a busy few years since Jason’s last smashhit stand-up show but fans of his Absolute Radio show will know this nationally acclaimed comedian hasn’t changed a bit.

Like Me is Jason’s latest comic offering, set to hit the road for a massive 129-date UK & Ireland tour.

Jason said: “After the fun we had on my last tour Muddle Class, I’m excited to get back on the road with my new stand-up show Like Me.

“In these trying times, it’s always important to be able to get away for a couple of hours and exercise the old chuckle muscle.

“So, I’m coming to a venue near you in 2021/2022, so we can have a good laugh together. See you then!”

Jason’s work spans comedy, acting, singing and presenting and includes a host of top TV credits including Royal Variety Performanc­e, First & Last, The Masked Singer, What Would Your Kid Do?, Olivier Awards, Scarboroug­h, 8 Out of 10 Cats, The Nightly Show, Sunday Night at the Palladium, Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You, QI and The Royal Variety Performanc­e.

Manford cites Billy Connolly as his comedy hero after seeing him when Manford was 11, and comics such as Tommy Cooper and Peter Kay heavily influenced his comic style.

In 2009, in an interview on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, Manford talked about his passion for musicals, expressing an interest in taking a singing and acting role on stage, and giving a short, impromptu performanc­e of Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors.

He has since had lead roles in the Producers and Curtains.

He won the first series of the Masked Singer as the hedgehog.

In December last year he made his pantomime debut as Muddles in Sleeping Beauty at the Manchester Opera House – to a socially distanced audience due to COVID-19

pandemic – alongside Billy Pearce, Jodie Prenger, Eric Potts and Louis Gaunt.

Jason has five children, four with his first wife Catherine – they split in 2013 – and a daughter with his second wife, television producer Lucy Dyke.

He got a job collecting glasses in a club when he was 17. One evening a performer didn’t arrive, so Jason stepped in to fill the gap and his comedy career began to take off. He was crowned City Life North West Comedian of the Year.

A nomination for the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2005 was followed by a guest appearance on the Channel 4’s, 8 Out Of 10 Cats.

How does he describe his brand of comedy? “I try not to pigeonhole myself too much – other people do that. It’s warm, it’s inclusive, it’s never mean. It’s for grownups.”

North East warm-up

shows for 2021 ... The Witham, Barnard Castle: Friday June 18

ARC Theatre, Stocktonon-Tees: Thursday July 1

The Queens Hall, Hexham: Friday July 2

The Playhouse, Whitley Bay: Thursday July 15

North East tour dates for 2021 ...

Middlesbro­ugh Town Hall: Friday November 5

Darlington Hippodrome: Tuesday November 9

North East tour dates for 2022 ...

O2 City Hall, Newcastle: Thursday March 17

Middlesbro­ugh Town Hall: Wednesday April 27

Utilita Arena, Newcastle: Thursday October 13

Festivals ...

In the Spot, The Point, Sunderland: Tuesday April 13, 2021

Tickets: www.ticketmast­er.co.uk/ website.

Rightmove says it has had its busiest-ever start to the year, with visits to the website up by 30% compared with 12 months earlier.

The website said the volume of people contacting estate agents about a property to buy was 11% higher than at the start of 2020.

The number inquiring about a property to rent is up by 22%, Rightmove said.

The end of a stamp duty holiday on March 31 2021 has contribute­d to activity, it added.

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “We didn’t know how this year would start, with so much change and uncertaint­y around restrictio­ns, but it’s been reassuring for those people hoping or needing to move that the demand we’ve seen so far is the highest we’ve ever had in January.

“The housing market has been allowed to stay open during these latest lockdowns and agents have already spent months working in a Covid-secure way and creating a number of property videos, so buyers and renters starting out on their search this year will find that, alongside the safe viewing protocols, more agents are offering virtual viewings to help buyers and renters better shortlist the properties they want to go and see.”

 ??  ?? The comedian is an accomplish­ed muscal theatre performer who took the lead role in Curtains
The comedian is an accomplish­ed muscal theatre performer who took the lead role in Curtains
 ??  ?? Jason Manford takes his Like Me tour on the road later this year
Jason Manford takes his Like Me tour on the road later this year
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